Credits

Hosted By: Joanna @ pausedlife.com
Programs Used: MS Paint, MS GIF Animator and Giffy
Fonts Used: 04b03, Adore64
Friends for their help and support over the years: Joanna, Sammy, Luana, Eve, Jenny, Ashley, Lucy, Ava, Aimee, Celeste, Alex, Alice/Limondo, Ashlee, Jeannie, Lien, Amanda and so many more

Website History

I first discovered pixel art websites in 2005 whilst searching for cute Sanrio gifs to attach to emails. Back then there was a whole community of cute pixel art websites, mainly inspired by a Japanese "kawaii" art style, with pastel layouts, iframes and tiny pixel "adoptables". Each cute pixel website you visited would lead you to at least a dozen more via their affiliates section and I'd spend hours admiring everyone's gorgeous art. There were also pixel forums with hundreds of members, my favourites being Sugar Melody BBS, Teahouse MB and Apple Crunch MB.


Buttons by Lou of the expired sugary-star.net


At first I'd just collect any cute pixels I could find, proudly displaying them (with credit, I was a polite hoarder) on my Piczo site, "Lucid-Dreams". Piczo was a website builder that you'd just upload content to, and arrange it by dragging and dropping it. Then one day I opened up Paint and decided to try to pixel something for myself, I think some of the first things I pixeled were these jars. The jars themselves were templates from a "pixel club", I just added stuff to them, I was really proud of them at the time though:




At some point I decided to make my own pixel website instead of just collecting other people's graphics, and thus, "Lucid-Dreams Pixel Heaven" was born. Check out the incredible layout that I made for it (click the thumbnail if you'd like to get a closer look at it in all its glory):



After a while of dragging and dropping Piczo fun, I decided to try to learn to code and made a simple site on Freewebs. I eventually dropped the cheesy "Pixel Heaven" from the name and entitled it "Lucid-Dreams" (the hyphen was important for some reason but I forget why). The layout I had up on my freewebs site was even worse than my Piczo one and featured badly drawn chocolate bars with faces. And my coding was terrible and the iframe would migrate across the page depending on your browser/screen resolution.

A little while later and after more practise (and a lot of help) with coding, a good friend, Eve offered to host my website on her domain, sugar-melody.net. And when that domain expired, another good friend, Jenny hosted Lucid-Dreams on her domain, wishable.net. The layouts I had up while hosted by them featured my pixeled fanart of my favourite character at the time, Tatty Teddy by Carte Blanch Greetings. I really enjoyed being hosted by them and they gave me a lot of support and help over the years.



Eve and Jenny's 32x32 buttons


I took a break from pixeling for a year or so, and then in 2008 I bought my own domain, catch-a-star.net. Unfortunately the domain only lasted for three years before it expired; I'd been bored of pixeling and inactive for a while so when the time came to renew it I bought game currency instead. I soon started to miss owning my own website though, and ended up sadly staring at it on the wayback machine every now and then, until 2013 when my lovely friend, Joanna offered to host Catch a Star on her domain, pausedlife.com. I rescued my files from the good old wayback machine, and I've been happily hosted by Joanna ever since. For a long time I kept my old layout from catch-a-star.net:



I loved the colour scheme of that layout, I'd made little matching titles for every page, I had rollover effects so the navigation stars would light up when you hovered over them and thought it looked really cute. But the layout itself was a bit of an embarrassment, it was plain and the bunnies were badly shaded. After getting bored of pixeling for a couple more years and then returning in 2017, I decided to make a new layout. Cazville took a while to make, and the perspective is kinda messed up, but I'm really happy with it.

Unfortunately the pixel website community was pretty much completely dead by 2015, most people seem to use things like Tumblr and DeviantArt to display their art rather than making personal websites now. It was really fun while it lasted, and a nice friendly place to escape to and I'll always remember it and all of the lovely people I met through it. There are still a few cutesy-style pixel websites around though, you can find some of them on my Links Out page.


Catch a Star/Lucid-Dreams has been housed at the following URLs over the years (all expired now):
piczo.com/lucid-dreams-pixel-heaven
freewebs.com/lucid-dreams-pixel-heaven
lucid.sugar-melody.net
lucid.wishable.net
catch-a-star.net